Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
This teenager has become the first transgender person to be baptised into an Orthodox church whose leader once described an LGBT event as “a parade of Sodom and Gomorrah”.
Vuk Adzic, 19 was baptised into the Serbian Orthodox Church at the Temple of Christ’s Resurrection in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica on Sunday and his baptism received the blessing of Metropolitan Amfilohije Radovic, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro.
He is the first transgender person to be baptised into the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro.
Adzic wore a traditional outfit to the baptism and he told reporters: “It is true, I was baptised in the Church of Christ’s Resurrection in Podgorica, but I cannot tell you the details of that act. The act itself is secret, it is a vow between me, the church and my godfather.
“Religion is very important in my life. At one time I only had religion with me. Faith kept me alive.”
LGBT Board Chairwoman Bojana Jokic said :”Vuk is a trans boy who has not yet gone through the whole transition. There is no word to describe this feeling of happiness and pride. Today, the Christian love for man has overcome all differences. Thank you Metropolitan for reaching out for all your children with open arms.”
The head of one of Montenegro’s leading LGBT rights groups has hailed the ceremony as a historic and “incredibly progressive step in accepting and confirming the identities of those most vulnerable among us.”
The state is not ready to accept his identity before his transition is complete and in all of his official documents he has a woman’s name.
Adzic was attacked on 28th August and three men are currently awaiting trial for hate crimes and other charges .
The teenager said at the time that “discrimination, hatred, and violence are major problems” and LGBT members of society “are second-class citizens, trapped, invisible to the system when it comes to education and health, for example.”
Radovic, 81, has previously been among the most vocal of the LGBT community’s critics, once describing a pride event as “a parade of Sodom and Gomorrah” and making reference to “the tree that does not bear fruit.”
He has said he is “no homophobe but rather a ‘sin-ophobe’.”
Montenegrin law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and punishes hate speech and hate crimes against the LGBT community.
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